As an organization JDRF has long been committed to remaining transparent in the work we do and maintaining the trust of the T1D families we serve. As an industry, accounting and audit firms understand all too well the need for this kind of transparency in providing answers and developing the necessary solutions. Given this shared vision, the partnership between JDRF Houston and the local PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Houston office makes natural sense.
In their more than 160 years in practice, PwC has “developed a reputation of working collaboratively and innovatively to deliver the highest quality outcomes for their people, clients and society. The role PwC plays in business has always been underpinned by the need for trust and their ability to deliver solutions”. Yet it’s not always just about business. For PwC employees making an impact in the communities where they live and work in is just as important. It would be two dedicated employees at the firm who would help crystallize the relationship between JDRF and PwC.
As with most of the great corporate partnerships JDRF Houston maintains, this relationship began with a family. Bob Morgan, a father of a type 1 diabetic son, served as a Partner at PwC and knew he had to get the firm more involved not only because of his son but because he felt strongly the research being done by JDRF would have widespread implications for other autoimmune diseases and thereby changing the lives of millions of people. Those were numbers Bob liked. Bob and his wife Judy have been active in the JDRF Houston Gulf Coast Chapter for many years and in various roles but they are most proud of participating in JDRF One Walk for twenty-three years straight since their son, Christopher, was diagnosed with the disease at the age of nine. PwC employees rallied around Bob and his family, helping to raise money each year for their walk team.
When Bob retired from PwC, the baton was passed to Craig Reffner, another Partner at the firm, who also had a direct connection to the disease. Craig’s nephew, Cody was diagnosed with T1D on June 10, 2013, and he was determined that there was going to be a cure for his nephew in the future. Craig joined the JDRF Houston Board of Directors in June 2015. Once again PwC employees came together to support Craig in his efforts to raise funds for type 1 research. Through sponsorships, personal donations and employee fundraising PwC has managed to raise over $80,000 since 2011.
In the last two years, Craig has intensified his efforts. Craig now takes part in the Chevron Houston Marathon as part of the Run for a Reason program and with every mile he runs his nephew Cody is never too far from his thoughts. When asked why he decided to take on this challenge, he said
“there are many reasons why I run in the Houston Marathon (really the Half Marathon). One reason why I run is that it is a challenge. Another reason is to keep me motivated throughout the year to stay somewhat healthy and to show my daughters that even old dad can look cool out on the course. However, one of the most important reasons why I run (…and walk…and run) is to wear the JDRF running shirt and to support a cause that someday my nephew, and many like him, will live in a world without Type One Diabetes. To be a part of the JDRF team and to play a role in finding a cure for T1D, is truly awesome!!”